And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 9, Braves 2: The Nats continue to be an outrageous pain in Atlanta’s rear end. Before the game, mindful of this and mindful of the fact that Livan Hernandez always kills the Braves, I tweeted the following: “Oh, Livan is going against the Braves tonight? Prediction: 7 IP, 3H, 1 ER, 6K, 0 BB.”  He wasn’t that good, but I wasn’t far off: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1K, 3 BB.  The common thread there is a frustrating evening for Braves hitters against a guy who has no business getting major league hitters out after all of these years but dadgummit, keeps doing it.

Yankees 5, Red Sox 2: Did I say the rivalry was boring? A John Lackey pitch to Frank Cervelli’s back changed that at least for a little while, clearing the benches even if no one threw punches. There were some earlier plunkings, though they appeared without purpose. Lackey’s seemed to be in retaliation for a Cervelli home run. To which I say “don’t suck so bad that you’re giving up home runs to Frank Cervelli and you wouldn’t be in this position.”  CC Sabathia struck out ten dudes in six innings. And the game came in one whole minute under a cool four hours!

Phillies 9, Reds 0: Roy Halladay was dominating on the mound (7 IP. 2 H, 0 ER, 9K) and he even hit a bases-loaded double. At some point we’re just gonna have to face facts that he’s a Jedi or something.

Indians 6, Athletics 2: I started watching this one on TV — I couldn’t bear to see Livan Hernandez beat up the Braves — but then I turned it off and watched “Richard Pryor Here and Now” on Netflix. I dunno why. Just not in a baseball mood last night. But Pryor holds up even 30 years later.  Anyway: the recently-recalled Jeanmar Gomez flummoxed the A’s for six innings and the Tribe managed two two-run homers in the sixth to break it open.

Tigers 2, Royals 1: Doug Fister had a perfect game going through six but then gave up a run in the seventh on a double and a pair of sacrifices. Problem for him is that the Tigers couldn’t do anything themselves against Jeff Francis. They tied it up in the eighth, however, and then Ramon Santiago hit the walkoff bomb off Aaron Crow.

Marlins 6, Mets 0: Javier Vazquez shut the Mets out for seven innings. Mike Pelfrey … did not reciprocate.

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 5: A wild finish to a game that was tied after nine. The Jays took the lead in the top of the 10th on a Kelly Johnson triple and a subsequent wild pitch. But then in the bottom of the inning Brian Tallet walked the first two batters he faced and then gave up an RBI single to pinch hitter Jake Fox and a ground rule double to Ryan Adams. Which was appropriate given that it was a heartbreaker on a day the Jays’ manager was out with pneumonia.

White Sox 8, Twins 6:  Alejandro De Aza drove in four runs and the Sox rallied for five runs in the fifth.

Rangers 2, Rays 0: Big fly for Josh Hamilton and six scoreless for Scott Feldman. I’m going to assume all Rays losses from here on out are the direct result of the curse of the Garfoose.  Though, really, he was far too polite to curse anyone when he left. But still.

Cardinals 2, Brewers 1: A win for St. Louis in a series that once looked like it would have huge playoff implications but now really doesn’t. I suppose if the Cards sweep this one and next week’s series in St. Louis, and if the Brewers start to channel the 1964 Phillies, that yes, there are still playoff implications here. But I’m not really seein’ it.

Astros 8, Pirates 2: A six-run sixth inning for Houston.  Henry Sosa allowed two hits and struck out seven over six innings. Three straight wins for the Astros. Break ’em up.

Diamondbacks 9, Rockies 4: The Dbacks are streaking their way to the NL West title. Miguel Montero and Justin Upton each homered and drove in three runs.

Cubs 5, Giants 2: And, as has become common lately, the Giants have no answer.

Dodgers 8, Padres 5: Andre Ethier should fight with his team about crap more often. A grand slam helps L.A. to an eight-run second inning.

Angels 13, Mariners 6: Mike Trout hit two homers and drove in five, leading the rout. Probably worth noting that this game featured 19 runs, 22 hits and nine walks yet finished up over an hour more quickly than the Yankees-Red Sox game.

Umpire ejects Adrian Beltre for moving on-deck circle

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As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.

Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Video: Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford hits an inside-the-park grand slam

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Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.

Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.

Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:

Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.

Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.